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Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

The first time I made homemade butter I was eight years old.  I distinctly recall sitting in a circle with my classmates in Mrs. Peterson’s second-grade class.  We passed around a quart jar filled with fresh cream from a fourth-grade girl’s family dairy farm.  Each student shook the jar to exhaustion, and then passed it to the next.  Hand-to-hand, that jar moved around the circle until it suddenly transformed.  Mrs. Peterson spread a bit of that golden butter onto a saltine cracker for each of us to try.  It was amazing!

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

I still make homemade butter, though not nearly as often as I should.  And every time I do, I’m reminded of that first experience, and how incredibly simple it is.  You can either shake it in a jar, like I did that first time, but if you have a stand mixer you’ll find it’s even easier.  Really good store-bought butter is expensive, so it’s nice to be able to make my own.  My version is an organic, grass-fed cow, European-style (meaning it has a higher fat/less water content than traditional American butter).  It’s also cultured, which means it has a bit of a tangy flavor.  I add a little whole milk yogurt to the cream to achieve this.  You can control the level of  tanginess by varying how long you leave the mixture out at room temperature.  It’s that simple.

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

As always, use the best possible ingredients you can find.  Cream that hasn’t been ultra-pasteurized will give you the best result.  Though, if you don’t have access to such ingredients, give it a try anyway.  In Minnesota, my favorite cream comes from the Cedar Summit Farm.  Their products are organic, delicious, and they are the only 100 % grass-fed dairy in the state.  You may remember that I grew up on a small dairy farm, so I have a bit of a soft spot for a good one.  These guys are the real deal.

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

I prefer my cultured butter with a bit of sea salt.  Remember that your butter will last longer in the refrigerator with salt in it– it acts as a preservative.  Since the water content in this butter differs from regular varieties, it might be a good idea to not bake with it.  Instead, spread it on bread or fresh corn-on-the-cob and enjoy it’s unique, robust flavor.  I recently bought a flat of strawberries and made some jam.  It was absolutely heavenly swiping my piece of bread with butter and then spreading the strawberry jam on top.  Pure bliss.  Enjoy your butter making experience!

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

The Recipe:  Homemade Cultured Butter

1 pint good quality heavy cream, preferably organic and not ultra-pasteurized

2 tablespoons whole milk organic yogurt

1/2 teaspoon good sea salt, plus more to taste

In a large bowl, whisk the ingredients together and cover with a towel.  Let sit at room temperature until your desired level of tanginess is present, about 2 hours or longer.  When it tastes the way you prefer, pour the mixture into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, (or into a quart jar with a lid).  Turn the mixer on low.  Then wait and watch for a few minutes until the mixture first becomes somewhat fluffy and homogenous, and then starts to separate.  The buttermilk will separate from the cream.  Carefully pour that buttermilk into a container and save it.  It will be amazing used in your favorite pancake recipe.  Next, pour 1/2 cup of ice cold water into the butter and continue to mix.  Pour out the water and discard as it becomes cloudy.  Continue to do this until no buttermilk remains in the butter.  The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes.  Taste the butter and smooth out with a rubber spatula, add more sea salt, if desired.  The more salt in it, the longer it will keep in your refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend!

Laurie

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Lemon Curd Ice Cream via Relishing It

My kids wait for ice cream season all winter long.  During those cold months here in Minnesota hot cocoa tides them over, but once the weather warms up, they clamor for ice cream nearly every day.  It’s fun to go out and about when the weather is warm.  And a nice little jaunt to some of our favorite ice cream shops always seems like a perfect ending to a day.

Lemon Curd Ice Cream via Relishing It

At home, I’ve been experimenting a lot with my ice cream machine lately.   And I’ve come up with some pretty amazing batches– roasted balsamic strawberry was a favorite of mine.  The kids loved the malted chocolate with chunks of malted milk balls.  I’m sure I’ll get to sharing those recipes at some point.  But for now, all four of us agree that this lemon curd ice cream is one of the best ice creams we’ve ever eaten.  Full stop.  And honestly, if you knew my family, you would know that that really means something.

Lemon Curd Ice Cream via Relishing It

Lemon Curd Ice Cream via Relishing It

Making the lemon curd requires an extra step, but it really doesn’t take that long.  Just make sure to allow enough time for the curd to cool completely in the refrigerator.  You will have a bit of curd leftover, which is a bonus.  Freeze it, if you like, or spread it on good bread, pound cake, or pile it on meringues (speaking of which– I have a recipe I’ll share soon for these.  Freeze your egg whites from making the ice cream).

Lemon Curd ice Cream via Relishing It

My favorite way to serve the ice cream is with a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and a touch of fleur de sel (or any good sea salt).  The olive oil goes brilliantly with the lemon.  Rosemary, lavender, or thyme are all wonderful on top — just a bit, not too much.  And the fleur de sel brings all of the flavors together.  Together, you get a perfect balance between the sweet and tart flavors.  Trust me, you will enjoy this combination.  It would also be fabulous made into a cocktail and topped with champagne.  Or stick it on a cone.  Anyway you serve it will be amazing.  Enjoy!

Lemon Curd Ice Cream via Relishing It

The Recipe: Lemon Curd Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 cup milk

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

dash of kosher salt

1 tablespoon (packed) lemon zest

5 egg yolks

1 cup lemon curd (see note)

Note:  Substitute lemon for the orange in this recipe.  Make sure to allow enough time for the curd to cool completely in the refrigerator.  I recommend making it a day ahead of time.

In a large sauce pan, heat 1 cup of cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest together.  Bring to a simmer just until tiny bubbles appear.  Remove from heat and let infuse for 1 hour.  After the hour bring mixture back to a small simmer.  Have the egg yolks in a large bowl and slowly ladle half of the milk/cream mixture into the eggs, whisking the entire time.  Pour the egg mixture into the the remaining milk/cream mixture in the sauce pan.  Cook until the temperature reaches 175°F.  Do not let it boil.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile, have a large bowl filled with ice/water and a smaller bowl that will hold all of the ice cream mixture in it.  Have the remaining cup of cream in the bowl so it is very chilled (this will help the warm milk/cream mixture cool faster).  Place a strainer over the bowl, and pour the milk/cream mixture into the strainer so that it will combine with the remaining cup of cream.  Stir the mixture until the temperature reduces to 70°F.  Whisk in the lemon curd at this point.  Chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator or overnight.  Place into an ice cream maker at this point and follow instructions.

Source:  Adapted from this recipe.

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!
xo

Laurie

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Ahhh…citrus in Spring.  Fresh, vibrant, and beautiful.  You already know that I’m a sucker for pretty much anything citrus-related– just take a look at these and this… and these… and this…and this..and these…and these…and this…  Wow!  I didn’t realize I was that big of a sucker for citrus!  Well, you get the point.  Another great way to indulge in these brilliant fruits is by making curd.  I know, the name doesn’t sound very appealing, but think of it more as a silky, citrus pudding.  Much better.

Today’s dish relies on my favorite citrus curd recipe.  It’s foolproof.  You can use any type of citrus (lemon, grapefruit, and lime work too!), and it’ll turn out perfect every time.  Personally, I love lemon curd the best, but Radd is a big fan of orange, so this batch was for him.

One of the best things about curd is that it’s so versatile.  It’s a great topping for shortbread or toast.  I often fill white cupcakes with it and top them with a beautiful meringue frosting.  And of course, it is perfect paired with classic scones, the second recipe for today’s dish.  You know the kind I’m referring to– the one’s that aren’t fussy or fancy.  The ones that go with anything.  Jam and clotted cream, anyone?  Spread a little fresh citrus curd on a scone, pour a cup of coffee, and take in the Spring morning.  Perfect.

The Recipe: Orange Curd with Classic Scones

Orange Curd

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and egg yolks and lightly beat, set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and sugar.  Beat for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the eggs.  Beat for 1 minute.  Pour in the orange juice and continue to mix.  The mixture will look curdled — this is fine, it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it begins to look smooth.  The curdled appearance will disappear as the butter melts.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, between 10-15 minutes.  It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and a thermometer should read 170°F.  Do not let the mixture boil.

Remove from heat.  Stir in the orange zest.  Transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap against the curd to keep a skin from forming.  Place in the refrigerator.  The curd will thicken as it chills.  It will last in the refrigerator covered for 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Classic Scones

(Makes 8-10 scones)

2 cups unbleached cake flour (11 ounces), plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or anything coarse), divided

5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 – 3/4- cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar into a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Add the butter, and pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Medium chunks of butter are just fine.

Add the egg and enough of the cream to form a slightly sticky dough.  It should stick to your hands a bit, but shouldn’t be overly wet.  Adjust cream/ flour as necessary.

Remove dough from food processor and place on a lightly floured surface.  With flour on your hands, pat dough into a flat 3/4-inch thick circle.  Use a round 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out scones.  Place them on the baking sheet.  Brush with cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Source: Scones adapted from the New York Times.  Orange curd adapted from Fine Cooking

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Laurie

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Cherry Clafoutis

My husband, Radd, and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this past Fall by taking an unforgettable trip to Portland, OR.  What an incredible city!  One of the many highlights was stumbling upon THE most impressive bookstore I’ve ever set foot in– Powell’s.  We wandered it’s labyrinthine rooms, stairwells, and aisles for hours.   Though I’d heard buzz about Dorie Greenspan’s new book, it was at Powell’s that I first saw– and of course bought– Around My French Table.  It’s one of my favorite cookbooks, so unsurprisingly the plane ride home went far too fast.

This recipe comes from that cookbook.  Cherry Clafoutis– a fancy French name for a very simple dessert.  A clafoutis (cla-foo-tee) is like a cross between a cake and a custard– almost like a flan.  Aside from the cherries, it’s silky and smooth– there’s very little flour, with cream, milk, and eggs as the main ingredients.  The traditional French way to prepare this dessert is to leave the cherries whole (including the pits), cover with the batter, and bake.  Purists believe the pits add a nutty, more intensely complex flavor.  I’ve baked a clafoutis in the traditional method, and yes the flavor was delicious.  Despite this, I’ve decided that the reward wasn’t worth the trouble– especially since I wanted my children to be able to eat the dish without me having to worry about them eating a cherry pit.  To get that “nutty” flavor without the pit, I added a teaspoon of almond extract.

I enjoy making clafoutis because they’re easy, yet different.  No special equipment is required, and the majority of the prep time is in pitting the cherries.  And if you don’t have a cherry pitter, no problem.  Put a cherry on top of a long-necked bottle and poke through the center with a chopstick– or anything else long and slender.  Simple.  Enjoy your clafoutis with powdered sugar alone, or ignore those purists and pile a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

The Recipe:  Cherry Clafoutis

1 pound sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted

3 large eggs (room temperature)

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup heavy cream  (room temperature, if possible)

1/2 cup 2% milk  (room temperature, if possible)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in the center.  Liberally butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (or another baking pan with a 2-quart capacity).

Place the cherries in a single layer into the pie-pan.

Whisk the eggs, in a medium bowl, (note: to get eggs to room temperature more quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes) until they’re foamy, then add the sugar and whisk for another minute.  Whisk in the salt and the vanilla and almond extracts.  Add the flour and whisk vigorously  (when adding flour to baked goods, normally you should be gentle — this is an exception) until the batter is smooth.  While still whisking, gradually pour in the milk and cream and whisk until blended.  Tap the bowl on the counter to remove any air bubbles and pour the batter over the cherries.

Bake the clafoutis for 35-45 minutes, or until it’s puffed and lightly browned, and most importantly, a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the clafoutis to a cooling rack and allow it to cool until it’s barely warm, or until it’s room temperature.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.  This dessert is best eaten on the day it is made, however, leftovers should be covered and chilled.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Laurie

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